The Section on Human Animal Interaction: Research & Practice, of Division 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology) of the American Psychological Association is dedicated to professional and scholarly activities that advance the understanding of human-animal interactions as they relate to psychology.


what we address

We address the role of the human-animal bond in empathy development, the ability to form and express attachments, reaction to grief and loss, the challenges of aging, and other developmental passages throughout the lifespan.
We also address the ways in which human interaction with animals promotes health, the role of animal-assisted therapies in prevention and intervention programs in a variety of settings, Violence prevention as it relates to the link between animal abuse and family, juvenile, and community violence, Training programs on topics such as pet grief counseling, assessment and treatment of animal abuse, as well as counseling programs to address the needs of veterinary students, animal shelter volunteers, and animal rescue workers.


COVID-19 and Pets

Greetings everyone. As you read this, we hope that you and your human and animal family are doing well and staying safe. During this time of COVID-19, our lives have been impacted in numerous ways and many of us feel uncertain about the near and distant future. Yet, one thing remains a constant – our […]

Call for Papers

Therapies Incorporating Horses to Benefit People: What are They and How are They Distinct? Research of therapies that incorporate horses to benefit people has expanded since the 1990s. However, this literature has often not distinctly distinguished different therapies from one another, or from non-therapy services. Reliance on generic terms like hippotherapy, equine therapy, and equine-assisted […]

2019 APA Conference Presentations – Powerpoints

Addressing the human-animal bond in therapy: Theory, foundation and application Natural disasters –psychological challenges and interventions Animal-assisted interventions: competencies and ethics

past webinars

Banks’ research pursuits have included animal-assisted intervention and parental stress factors for psychiatric-hospitalized youth with autism, policy gaps and how they effect sibling caregivers in the United States, and best practices in multidisciplinary work for dually diagnosed youth with autism.

Colleen is a Professor & Centennial Enhancement Chair in One Health and Wellness at the University of Saskatchewan. She has two registered therapy dogs and is training a third who, alongside community and academic partners, are involved in various projects with Colleen and her team. 

Dr. Erdman has conducted research in parent/child relationships and human-animal interaction (HAI), specifically looking at the effectiveness of equine facilitated activities.  She is past chair of the Section on Human-Animal Interaction, Society of Counseling Psychology, & American Psychological Association. 

Joan  initiated the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s ground-breaking Human-Animal Intervention Program by providing Human -Animal Intervention for Incarcerated Teens, At-Risk Pre-Schoolers, and Middle School students with Autism.

Shelly is the author of the chapter, “Understanding Cross-Species Parenting: A Case for Pets as Children” in the book Clinician’s guide to treating companion animal issues: Addressing human-animal interaction.

Clive D. L. Wynne, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Canine Science Collaboratory. Arizona State University. He is also the author of the Dog is Love: Why and How your Dog Loves You.